Friday, May 6th, 2011
Jeannette Kagame, the First Lady of Rwanda, is thrilled. Merck has promised to donate two million Gardasil doses to the government of Rwanda over the next three years. And you can’t blame her. More Rwandan women die from cervical cancer than any other cancer.
But if she genuinely believes that millions of Gardasil doses will solve her country’s cervical cancer crisis, she should brace herself for a huge disappointment and make sure her country has a solid system for reporting adverse events.
Just a few days ago, Ms. Kagame told the press, “Starting this week, thousands of young Rwandan girls and women will have an opportunity to live their lives without the threat of what has been a potentially fatal illness.”
The heartbreaking reality is that young girls and women who receive the vaccine WILL still live with the threat of the potentially fatal illness. They just won’t know it.
As I’ve mentioned many (many) times, Gardasil is designed to prevent HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer. But its effectiveness remains largely unproven. And since no vaccine is 100 percent effective, some of the girls will still contract HPV, and some may develop cervical cancer. Others will discover that cervical cancer can occur without any HPV infection at all.
In other words, Gardasil does not create a magic cocoon that repels cervical cancer.
From what we know about Gardasil, we CAN predict that some of those girls currently being vaccinated may endure a living hell of side effects that could include seizures, muscle spasms, paralysis, pelvic pain, joint pain, vision loss, hair loss, enlarged liver, migraines, painful menstruation, and slurred speech.
What’s far worse, of course, is that some may die. But their families will probably never suspect that the miracle vaccine from America could be to blame.
Making a slow buck
Meanwhile, Merck is setting up a nice little revenue stream.
They start by donating two million doses. Each dose costs about $130 each, so that’s $260 million total. Do you suppose there’s the slightest chance that there will be a tax break figuring into this humanitarian act?